Adolphe-Félix Cals / Still Life with Vegetables, Partridge, and a Jug / 1858Adolphe-Félix Cals
Still Life with Vegetables, Partridge, and a Jug

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Creator Name: Cals, Adolphe-Félix
Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1810 - 1880

After taking some printmaking and drawing lessons, Adolphe Félix Cals entered the studio of Cogniet (q.v.) at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1828. His academic training resulted in a warm palette and an attention to detail, but at the same time he also developed an unusual interest in depicting the wretched existence of the poor. In the 1830s he went his own course and mostly painted landscapes around Paris. He made his debut at the Salon in 1835 and exhibited regularly until 1870, although he initially received little recognition for his land-scapes and genre scenes that addressed social issues and reflected his own impoverished existence. Cals married a young aristocrat, Ernance de Provisy, who eventually went insane. He then raised their daughter, who suffered the same fate as her mother. In 1848 Cals met the art dealer 'le Père Martin' who steadily supported him and other painters, such as Millet (q.v.) and Corot (q.v.). Another meeting that proved crucial to Cals was one with Count Doria in 1858, who became his most important patron. After several rejections of his work at the Salon, Cals participated in the Salon des Refusés in 1863. Cals, who had lived and worked mainly in and around Paris all his life, then left the city for Normandy (Honfleur and the Saint Siméon farm) in 1871 and remained there until his death. He was a close friend of Jongkind (q.v.), and in 1873 the two were together in Honfleur, where many other like-minded artists such as Boudin (q.v.) gathered to study out of doors. In 1874 Cals participated in the first impres-sionist exhibition and continued to do so until 1879. His style evolved accordingly, and he applied a much freer brush stroke in his later work. Art critic Edmond About, who was usually not very gen-erous with compliments, characterized Cals as the most sincere and the most genuine artist he had ever known.

Gender: M
Creator Birth Place: Paris, 17 October 1810
Creator Death Place: Honfleur, 3 October 1880
Creator Name-CRT: Adolphe-Félix Cals
Title: Still Life with Vegetables, Partridge, and a Jug
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1858
Creation End Date: 1858
Creation Date: 1858
Object Type: Paintings
Classification Term: Painting
Materials and Techniques: oil on fabric
Dimensions: Unframed: 49.5cm x 61cm

Signed upper left: Cals 1858

AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1980.242
Credit Line: Bequest of Noah L. Butkin
Provenance: Galerie François Delestre, Paris. Mr. and Mrs. Noah L. Butkin, Cleveland. Bequeathed to the CMA in 1980.

During the 19th century, a number of painters used common objects (rather than rare or refined objects), to create still lifes that some critics judged as unfit for the drawing room: studies of carrots, cabbages, asparagus, oysters, onions, eggs, and cooking utensils. Often these subjects were chosen for their mealtime associations. The food represented on the table in this painting--a partridge, onions, and cabbage--are the main ingredients for the making of the well-known dish, perdrix au chou (partridge with cabbage). Cals, however, was also interested in exploring underlying compositional design principles and studying the shapes of the objects he depicted.

Cals lived and worked in and around Paris for most of his life, though in 1871 he moved to Normandy. In 1874 he participated in the first Impressionist exhibi-tion and continued to do so until 1879. Although still lifes were an important part of his production, they were not his specialty. He preferred to work outdoors, in places chosen during his daily strolls. Art critic Edmond About, who was usually not very generous with compliments, characterized Cals as the most sincere and genuine artist he had ever known.

AMICA ID: CMA_.1980.242
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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